BASEketball Soundtrack (Mojo Records)
By: Alex Steininger
From the creative minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the brains behind South Park, comes a new movie entitled "BASEketball." A movie about a sport mixing baseball and basketball, with these two comedians behind the wheel it will be nice to see how they translate onto the big screen.
On the soundtrack they've landed the pop-ska sounds of Reel Big Fish, the pop-punk of Nerf Herder, swing's Cherry Poppin' Daddies, punk's Supersuckers, and Soul Asylum, to name a few. Reel Big Fish even has a role in the movie, as the team's house band, which might explain why they have two tracks on this disc.
You can't go wrong when you start off a compilation with Reel Big Fish covering an A-Ha classic like "Take On Me." Previously off their Goldfinger/Reel Big Fish "Teen Beef" Split 7", it's nice to finally hear this track on the modern wonder known as compact disc. A very poppy-ska number, their usual sarcasm is hinted at through the use of care-free vocals having fun, but isn't that the whole point behind Reel Big Fish? Dance through the verses, then when the straight ahead pop chorus hits, jump up and down and sing along. Too infectious to resist, you might even find yourself repeating track one a few times before you move on to the others. Following is Nerf Herder's "Don't Hate Me (Because I'm Beautiful)," which begins with some metal riffs, before quickly switching to some powerful pop-punk. Once again hinting at some sarcasm through the vocals, the song has a 'have-fun' message, rather than anything serious. With the creators of South Park behind the movie, no wonder! Plastiscene's "Lemon Yellow" is a pop-industrial number that will leave you amazed. The verses have a light-industrial feel to them, but when the chorus kicks in it's all pop. But the stand out track on this album has to be Cherry Poppin' Daddies' cover of the class song "Jump In The Line (Shake Shake Senora)." A Pop-Mexi-Caribbean number, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear this is a big rumba line. Then the tropical party comes to mind. A few people sitting back drinking their pina colada's while everyone else is dancing in the ever-expanding rumba line. The power of music is amazing, and listening to this song will surely paint a very vivid, enjoyable picture in your mind. One of the most promising bands on this compilation is The Ernies, contributing "Motivate." Mixing pop, hip-hop, reggae, and bit of punk, this number will burn into your brain with only one listen. Horn lines that jump from soulful to groovy, they really add a lot of flavor to the song. The turntables, a lot of times used poorly in cross-over styles of music, are used perfectly here to help further the impact the pop hooks create. A very stylish pop number, these guys will definitely be a band to look for in the future. Possibly Mojo Records' 'next big hit?' Speaking of Mojo hits, Goldfinger used to have one. Although they have seemed to fade out of the spotlight, "Hopeless" shows a band that is still in their prime. Mixing Bad Religion riffs with some a slight metal feel, the intro doesn't come close to preparing you for the attack of punk rock that is to follow. Darren's intense drumming commands the song, while the scream of the guitar cuts through any road blocks in its way. The bass slams along with the guitar, serving up headache causing punches in just the right amount. Although, they do lose a bit of the momentum when they slow the song down and jump back to the riffs that began the song, the first minute and a half are quite great. And if they didn't end the song with even more metal than they started it with, the jump back into the fast-punk would of eventually set in and once again got the listeners going. But no, they decide to stir things up and end the song quite disappointingly. Finishing off the album is the smash-hit by Smashmouth, "Why Can't We Be Friends."
Too many times I've seen good movies blow it when they convert from the big screen to the music stores. However, this compilation is not one of them. Instead of the mega-major label soundtracks that put on one or two rocking bands, a few rap artists, and then some really soft pop, this soundtrack keeps all the songs pretty much on the same line. From pop-ska to pop-punk, and a few twists thrown in here and there, it's diverse enough to not be boring, and similar enough to keep you listening from start to finish. I'll give it a B+.